The silver lining of being childless

June 26, 2012

There’s a proverbial silver lining to every cloud, that’s for sure.

I’m not childless by choice, but over time, I’ve come to see the silver lining.  

The first X-box came out in 2001 and I was happy to say that I had never seen one, never used one and in fact, had no idea what one is. And I never had to. Or so I thought, until I realized that this fall I am teaching college students who are learning digital animation. They live, breath and go to school for “gaming.” 

Scratch that silver lining.

Cartoons are juvenile and boring. Thankfully, I haven’t seen one since I was a child, myself.   But then, it dawned on me that some of my students are working on animated films. In the coming months and years, I will be seeing many, many animated movies. God has SUCH a sense of humor and sometimes I think it’s only directed at ME.

Ok then, let’s get down to the real silver linings of being without children:

Our discretionary income is just that: to be used at our discretion. That’s because we have not had to pay for anyone’s college education but our own. Or buy anyone’s stylish athletic shoes, trendy outfits or car. Just our own. No day care, preschool, music lessons. I’ve never had to consider being a dance mom or even worse, a pageant mom. (shudder)

Sitting in the hot sun at (fill in the blank: baseball, soccer, other) games is not on my calendar. With 100 degree temps this summer, that IS a blessing.

I don’t have to figure out silly grandma names, like Mimi, Nana, Momo, Bubbie, Maymee, Gammy, Ganna, Grandnan….

No one blames me for screwing up their life.

I know what Nickelodeon is but I’ve never had to watch it. Not once. Nope.


Balancing work and family life has never been a problem.

The words “Pull up your pants, I can see your underwear” have never passed my lips.

I’ve never had to stay up all night waiting for a kid to get home from a date.

Spank? Spoil? Never had to even think about it.

Estate planning’s a breeze! Seriously. It’s the Big Sur Land Trust and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. That’s it. Screw everyone else.

I never had to tell anyone about “the facts of life.”
Well, that’s not exactly true.

Years ago my former stepdaughter began that conversation with me. She was 13. At the time I was running a hot bath in the big jacuzzi tub in the house her father and I had in Tallahassee. For a moment there, I definitely had that deer-in-the-headlights look. Why wasn’t she asking her mother those questions? I wondered. I sidestepped gracefully, poured myself a glass of icy chardonnay and immersed myself in the bubbling tub.

Yes, there’s a silver lining to every cloud. You just have to look for it.

3 comments on “The silver lining of being childless
  1. My husband and I are living the silver lining, too. I have zero regrets and we love our life every single day. Because it’s life. Lovely post, thank you for writing it.

  2. Yes, the benefits are boundless (glass half full!)

    I was vegetarian for eight years before going vegan so I was over meat. I thought giving cheese would be impossible. I was wrong! Truly? Don’t miss a thing (whew)!

  3. It has its benefits, doesn’t it? Hey, how are you liking going vegan? What do you miss?

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